Author(s): Vorbrodt AW, Dobrogowska DH, Tarnawski M, Meeker HC, Carp RI
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Abstract Quantitative immunogold procedure was used to study the distribution of molecular components of interendothelial junctions in blood-brain barrier (BBB) microvessels of scrapie infected SJL/J hyperglycemic mice showing obesity and reduced glucose tolerance. Samples of brain (fronto-parietal cerebral cortex and thalamo-hypothalamic region) obtained from hyperglycemic (diabetic) mice and from non- infected, normoglycemic (non-diabetic) SJL/J mice, were processed for immunocytochemical examination. The localization of the following tight junction (TJ)-associated proteins was studied: occludin as an integral membrane (transmembrane) protein, and zonula occludens one (ZO-1) as a peripheral protein. The localization of beta-catenin as a representative of the cadherin/catenin complex that is typical for adherens junctions (AJs) also was studied. Morphometric analysis revealed that the density of immunosignals for occludin, represented by colloidal gold particles (GPs), was significantly lower in the brain microvessels of diabetic than in non-diabetic mice. No significant differences in the density of immunosignals for ZO-1 and beta-catenin between both experimental mouse groups were observed. It indicates that abnormal glucose metabolism affects mostly occludin which is believed to play a fundamental role in the maintenance of the tightness of endothelial lining in brain microvascular network and thereby in the preservation of its barrier function. These results also support the previously expressed opinion that occludin, detected with the applied morphological method, can be considered a sensitive indicator of altered molecular architecture of the interendothelial junctions due to the action of some metabolic or pathological insults.
This article was published in J Mol Histol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology